So Nimm Denn Meine Hande...

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Colosse, Laodicea and Hierapolis, all along the Lycus and Maeander rivers.

The Cyclamen Bloom, the flower of Colosse.

Monday, January 23, 2006


...Man! Between sermon prep and being involved in some massive issues in an MB church in the lower mainland (via the internet) and sorting through some theological issues here in working 2 jobs (I quit 1), having guests over lots and on and on, I've been BUSY! I haven't posted much in a while. I'm also thinking about posting some of the stuff that I'm working through, but seeing that my reading audience apparently includes several people in my church (and I have to be tactful), I'm undecided what I'm going to share on my blog. I may slam out a multi-thread study on something, but if I'm going to be throwing some major work into something, I don't want an entirely new project. I'll get my thoughts together tomorrow and maybe start working on something. Until then, there will be plenty of funny and insane ramblings on the blog of my alter ego. Enjoy the day all! Until Next Time,

The Armchair Theologian

Monday, January 16, 2006


Thank God for rock and roll. For sure. I wonder what was going on in his mind in eternity past when he dreamed up music, and rock and roll in particular. It's sometimes so therepeutic...ha!

Okay. I had one seriously funny conversation yesterday. Several days ago, a woman called and just about crawled through the phone at me because a piece of $2 (literally) software that she bought at some 'hole-in-the-wall' store didn't work. She was making all sorts of illogical leaps (of course, I ripped her off, among others) and she got real mad. I offered some ideas and I tried to help her out over the phone, but she basically hung up on me.

So yesterday, she came in with the software and asked me to 'fix it'. So, I broke out by C++ and completely re-wrote the code in like 3 minutes. Yup.

NO! Just kidding. I installed the software on like 6 computers and it didn't work on any of them. Some sort of error involving not having enough ram (on a machine with 1 gig of ram). After 6 tries and no success, she then started to get worked up at the guy at the software shop. I told her that the problem wasn't her computer, and seeing that 6 other brand new ones couldn't run it, the problem was most likley that the software had some stupid problem with it (like it was most likely for an Amiga). She then said she was going to go and get her money back and left in a huff, though she thanked me for my excellent help.

I couldn't help but chadizzle at her contrafibularities. I mean, she was like 45 years old or something. How can you live that long and still run all higgldy-piggldy everytime you get a cork in your clogs? I mean, don't people ever learn to simmer down and not slap the tuna before the final chicken's plucked? You'd think that if a person constantly egged the whitehouse everytime someone planted peas in the cabbage patch, they'd be roomies with Colonel Sanders. That just springs a cog in my Chevy. Until Next Time,

The Armchair Flubbernutter

Sunday, January 15, 2006

My Faith In Humanity Is...

...About the same as it's always been. Over the last three days, at my store I've had three couples come into my store that were similar in one way; the women were great (well tempered, well mannered, intelligent, articulate, pleasant, beautiful, etc.) and the men were goons (ill tempered, ill mannered, ignorant, inarticulate, obnoxious, abusive, etc.). What's strange (for lack of a better term) was that the couples got progressively 'worse'. Today there was a couple where the woman was very beautiful, smart, funny, educated, etc. (lawyer) and the guy was a very obnoxious, aggressive, ignorant, impatient, abusive dude. She came into the store looking for something and he stayed in the car for whatever reason. He eventually came in and made rude comments about how stupid she was for looking for a computer; shooting down each idea she had. He was literally acting like an 10 year old, eventually commenting that "We're not getting you a computer for work until my sled (ski-doo) gets fixed." She protested, saying that she needed a computer for work and he told her that he didn't care.

I must admit that I almost said something, but I didn't really know what to say. I just kept changing the subject and trying to make him laugh while she was shopping for something for her. What a jerk!

Pretty much, this just re-iterates the age old question. Why do amazing girls get together with brain donors? I mean, I know the answer theologically...I guess it's just a rhetorical question...and partly whining. In as much as I know that sin blinds the mind to the truth and enslaves the imagination (Oh! How many times have I heard "Well, he was just having a bad day...he's normally a really nice guy!"...). It's just constantly mindboggling. Well, sin is mindboggling. I mean, don't girls notice that he's a flaming butthead when he's only nice to them? Come on! Well, then again I guess a lot of great guys date 'hot' girls that are as shallow as the day is long. So guys are stupid too. Okay. Whining done. Back to work. Until Next Time,

The Armchair Theologian

Sunday, January 08, 2006

The Text Is In...

Yeah. I've narrowed down my sermon series for this semester. Here's the text:

For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding. And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light. For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
- Colossians 1:9-14

I'll entitle it "A life that pleases God" and for those of you that are coming out, read the passage a bit in preparation for the series. I'll be preaching 4 times this semester, slamming through what it means to live a life that is pleasing unto the Lord. Get ready to rumble...Until Next Time,

The Armchair Theologian

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Some clarifications...

I was posting this as a comment to a comment of my comment on but then I thought, "Man I want pancakes." Now that thought wasn't really helpful, but as I was thinking about whether or not I was actually going to make pancakes, I figured "I need a new post on my blog." So, here it is.

I often make blanket statenments about things where I forget that people don't have the understanding behind them to understand what I'm meaning to say. In my comment regarding Mark's post on creationism, I spoke about creationism and said:

"It's not useless, but it may as well be for most Christians."

I think I need to explain myself. What I mean by that is that many Christians attempt to 'argue people into the faith'. For many years, I would debate with anyone on the subject of creationism, thinking that if I somehow demolished their arguments I would gain standing in their eyes, evidence the truth of the bible and convert the evolutionist.

My comment was meant to tackle that kind of foolishness, of which I was guilty for years. I will strongly defend the need for creationist apologetics, though we often approach it wrong. I'll defend it, if not for anything else, simply because it's commanded in scripture:

"...encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it." - Titus 1:9

"But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander." - 1 Peter 3:15-16

I do still talk about creationism with anyone and everyone. It is important to give a rational defense of the gospel (and all things contained can't have the end without the beginning.). It's just that many of us often fall into a non-biblical worldview and assume that the unregenerate mind can understand and believe ultimate truth. (When I say ultimate truth, I mean "truth in it's relation to ultimate reality, namely God the Father") The unregenerate mind can definitely can understand the processes and mechanisms of death (the process of necrosis, cellular decay, etc.) but the unregenerate mind will never rationally arrive at its ultimate meaning nor believe its cosmic significance. The unregenerate biologist will never connect cellular necrosis with the rejection of God's moral law. The sin that wars against the reason of the unregenerate mind will continually supress that truth at all costs.

So, how should we approach creation apologetics? Well, there's a great passage in the New Testament that is not specifically addressing creationist apologetics, but simply the refutation of heresy in general. I would say that it definitely applies:

"Don't have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels. And the Lord's servant must not quarrel; instead, he must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful. Those who oppose him he must gently instruct, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will." - 2 Timothy 2:22-26

Let's learn some lessons from Paul, as he instructs Timothy:

1. Avoid foolish and stupid arguments. The Greek word here for 'foolish' is moros, from where we get 'moron'. Moros carries the connotations of 'without learning, imprudent, without wisdom, empty'. The word for 'stupid' is apaideutos, which carries the connotations of 'rude, uneducated, ignorant, without discipline'. I've often heard idiotic arguments where there is a whole lot more heat than light. It's not only important to know what you're talking about (and what is worth saying), but also that you don't conduct yourself in a manner unbecoming one who represents Jesus Christ. Arguming about which side has more 'scientific hoaxes' in their history is useless, as is insulting your critics. This happens way too much in creationist apologetics. I'm talking to YOU, Kent Hovind!

2. Don't be quarrelsome. The word here is machomai, which carries the connotation of 'intense fighting', either with swords, words, or over property. Don't be a scrapper for Jesus. As Ravi Zacharias says, "when you throw mud, you lose a lot of ground and everyone gets dirty".

3. Be kind to everyone. The word is epios, which means 'kind, gentle, affable' and carries connotations of how a mother treats her children. This was evidenced years ago to me by William Lane Craig, who came to town to debate the existence of God with Ron Barrier at U of S. Ron called names and slandered him and kept using moros arguments, while Dr. Craig kept cool and treated him respectfully. I talked to Dr. Craig afterward and asked him "How do keep so cool when you're being so disrespected and when your opponent is so incompetent?" He smiled and said "You've gotta love your opponents. Treat every argument as serious and be kind to them". It's a good thing that I have Christ, because it's hard to do that outside of divine least for me.

4. Learn to teach. This word is didaktikos, which doesn't talk about subject matter as much as pedagogical ability. Learn how to communicate what you want to say in a way that gets across your message. We're talking about 'techniques and technical ability' here. I've heard John Piper say that when he's preparing a sermon, he judges his grasp of a theological concept by his ability to communicate it to his 7 year old daughter. If he cannot explain the most complex theology to a 7 year old, he doesn't really understand it enough himself.

5. Don't be resentful. The word here is anexikakos, which means 'patient'. Don't get mad at people because they don't understand what your brilliant mind can fathom with ease. Remember that everyone was once smarter than you, and you've been blessed with instruction and learning from other patient teachers who endured your idiocy in order to educate you in the concept that you're now trying to explain to others. Of all of these, this one applies to me the most. I often want to quote Hebrews 5:11 to people that I'm conversing with... I'm constantly working on this one. Not that I'm arrogant (I think), but often impatient. Even in writing this, I'm feeling kinda guilty.

6. Instruct gently. The word here is praotes, which means "gentleness, mildness, meekness". Be gentle with those who don't understand or who oppose you. Know that how you address them is as important as what you say. People will not only try to slander you (and your presentation will either confirm or contradict their claims) but I've learned often that rational arguments are, with most people, only on the surface. People often attack the bible, Christians, or whatever spiritual thing, on the basis of a personal offense or sense of maltreatment by "Christians". Your gentleness and kindness sometimes are the 'argument' that they're actually seeking.

7. God grants repentance. The real issue is never creation versus evolution, nor truth versus error, but rebellion versus repentance. The first half of verse 26 says that they've lost their senses and the second half of verse 26 says that the Devil "has taken them captive to do his will". That's what's ultimately going on with them; they've lost their minds and been enlaved by Satan. Part of that struggle is 'informational', but almost all of it is 'spiritual'. You are definitely an agent of God in their lives, but that's just it: and agent OF God, not God himself. He does the heavy work, you're just a peon. Don't overestimate your own role in the struggle, nor your importance therein.

8. Repentance leads to knowledge of the truth. Any apologetics that come without prayer are most likely done in vain. The creationist debate isn't done when people agree with you; it's done when they're restored to a proper relationship to God, so that's where you should aim to get them too. From there, they'll easily read and understand the scriptures and believe things therein. Get them on the right track, and they'll arrive at the right destination.

For the aforementioned reason, among others, Mark is definitely right when he suggests that all apologetics should be Christocentric. If people are 'on track' with Christ, their minds will also be in subjection to his truth. Anyway, I've been typing for a lot longer than I thought I would be. This has turned out to be a rather large post, but a good one. I'm off to Costco now. HA! Free Sample City, here I come! YEAH! Until Next Time,

The Armchair Theologian